If you said to Herbidie, "Hey, Herbidie, how intelligent are you?" He would reply:
"Please, by no mean think me boastful, but I am incredibly intelligent. I complete crosswords with ease and solve riddles in my sleep."
If you asked "Prince Herbidie, can you use a bow and arrow?" He'd say:
"I can shoot an arrow five hundred metres into the air, then shoot it in half with another arrow, all the while making a sherry trifle with my feet, which I must point out are always clean."
"How about Tetris Herbidie? Are you any good at Tetris?"
"What's Tetris?" He'd reply. Prince Herbidie lived in a time long before ours, a time of witches and giants and dragons and all those things that we don't ever believe existed. He'd probably enjoy playing Tetris and would in fact, be better than me at it.
But for all Herbidie had, he lacked the one thing he truly wanted. True love.
It dug deep into Herbidie's soul, itching at him. He didn't want to marry, or to have a legion of children, but simply meet the person that he could trust, someone that he could always love to be with.
His previous girlfriends were, well, disasters. They were all so consumed with the fact he was a Prince, that they made for very boring conversation. The hordes of flocking admirers dying to make love to him had made him weary, bored of women and of relationships.
One night, driven to despair in his lonely (and large, while not overly-compensating, if you know what I mean) castle, Prince Herbidie took to his white steed while dressed in rags, and rode into the night. Herbidie often just took off at a moments notice, he felt it good to have random acts of nonsense scattered regularly into his life, and while dressed in rags he wouldn't be recognised as the Prince so easily.
Racing through the night, Herbidie came across a strange wooden hut, nestled into the stomach of two hills. Outside, swaying in the wind read the sign "Miracle Markopan - Marvel in wonder at the triumph of doing something really special. Open 24/7.".
Herbidie brought the horse to a hefty halt. If True Love wasn't the purest of miracles, then Herbidie was no man to be spoken of. He dismounted, left his faithful horse to graze in the calm night and knocked on the door of the hut.
"Whooissiiit?" Came a cry.
"My name is Herbidie." The Prince replied, never eager to reveal his royal title. "I am in need of a miracle."
The door swung open, and the yellow light of a burning fire enveloped the Prince, sans the silloutte of a small decaying man. "Then you best come in! Miracle Markopan here." The man turned, staggering his way back inside, scraping something in his feet against the tiled floor.
The Prince followed, ducking his six foot one inch high head covered in long black hair to get through the doorway.
"And what may I ask is the miracle you seek?" Markopan asked, distracting himself half way through speaking with a small clay pot containing something interesting.
"I seek True Love." The Prince said, feeling as if the words he spoke were more powerful here than anywhere.
"Ohh... True Love? Not asked that much... Most people want riches or..." Markopan stopped talking, looked up and down Herbidie's body, clothed in rags, then giggled to himself. "Ah, I see, I see indeed."
Markopan looked around the hut, bringing his giant white eyebrows to the brim of his nose in concentration. They suddenly flew upwards. "Ahhhh yeesss... yes yes yes yes yes..." Markopan climbed up a bookshelf, and the Prince watched as the old man tried to swing himself to reach an old mask.
"Do you want a hand?" The Prince asked.
"Oh, no hands, large feet, yes please... ah!" Markopan finally reached the mask, balancing himself carefully, then climbing back down the bookcase. "Here." He said, finding his breath.
The mask was completely rusted metal, a hold for the nose, two slits for the eyes, and that was all.
"This mask.. this mask has power." Markopan looked through the nose hole with one wide eye. He picked up the jar from the table, and smashed it over the the rusted mask. The Prince took a step back as purple dust sprinkled into the air and all over the mask.
"Aaah... just as I thought." The man said, then placed the mask on the table. "This is a mask of True Love. If you wear it, you will lead one to you, one who you can be with in love."
"True Love?" The Prince asked.
"Yes, True Love." Markopan repeated. "There's but one catch."
The Prince said nothing. Markopan stared at him.
"What's the catch?" The Prince asked, eventually.
"Once you put the mask on, you can never remove it." Markopan said, lowering the tone of his voice.
Naturally, for the Prince, this felt a little worrying. But, he knew even with the mask, he would have True Love, and that was all that mattered.
"I accept." The Prince said.
"Good." Markopan said. "I'm going to attach the mask to your face. It's a lengthy and complicated process, and for part of it you'll be unconscious."
Herbidie nodded. "I understand."
Markopan nodded back, walked to a corner of the room, picked up a large stick, walked back to Herbidie, and then knocked him out with it.
Daylight woke the Prince, along with the nuzzling of his white steed, trying to awaken him.
Herbidie tried to open his eyes, but for some reason he couldn't seem to open them completely. He tried to rub them with his fists, only to be stopped by a hard rough surface.
He was at first afraid, then realised it was simply the mask. He touched around his face, then sighed to himself. Well, at least now he would meet his True Love.
He rode back to the nearest town, Jumaia, and dismounted his horse in the town square. He stood, proudly, and announced.
"I am here for my True Love! Come forward!"
An old man pushing a wheelbarrow glared at the Prince, and mumbled what seemed to be the words "Belly off."
Herbidie sighed, but thought again for a moment, realising that there simply was nobody in the town that could provide him with True Love.
Never one to quit early, the Prince remounted the horse, and galloped off to the next town, Cerbados.
Then the tiny village of Lillipop...
Then the small cottage of Dwendly...
After trekking the entire Kingdom, the Prince became rather depressed. Was there no woman that could provide to him True Love?
He found himself walking along a quiet stream, leading his horse behind him.
"I am cursed." Herbidie declared. "I have no love in this world... I need live here no more."
The white horse, distressed at the Prince's words, realised that he was becoming suicidal. The horse tried to comfort Herbidie, and try to build his hopes up, but realised once again that he did not have the ability to speak, so gave up.
The Prince had found a large rock to which he would beat himself to death with, and held it in two firm hands. "Goodbye, cruel world..."
At that moment, the Prince noticed a figure walking further up the stream... it.. it was a she!
He dropped the stone, much to the horse's relief, and started walking up towards her... she was kneeling by the stream, and with every metre closer to her, the Prince found some new amazing detail which he loved so much...
...Her long hair was beautiful blond AND brown with a red strap wrapped around it, he had never seen such a thing...
...Her body was so immaculate, small and beautiful, rounded and significant...
...Her feminine hands carressed the water, and she bent over, revealing a marvellously round bum.
Herbidie knelt to the ground behind the girl, completely lost in her beauty, then revealed his presence...
The girl turned... and just as the Prince noticed her unbelievably cute face, her eyes widened in surprise, and her face suddenly flung towards his, hitting it with a high pitched *CLING*
"OW.." Herbidie said, feeling to his head and mask.. then realising that somehow, he was attached to the girl... and was looking straight into her eyes, with their noses pressed together.
"Mmmrmfmfmm." The girl said, sweetly.
Herbidie tried to feel for where they were attached. Some large round object was strapped to the girls head.
The girl tilted her head down, so she could speak easier. "Ged thiff bloody ffihng ohff me!"
The Prince stumbled in thinking, and reached around to lift the strap off the girl's hair.
"OWW!" She cried. "Youffe god my haihr!"
"Sorry!" Herbidie said, trying to unhook the clasp.
The girl pulled herself out of it, and looking at the Prince, sat back down and looked behind his mask to take it off.
"I'll take this stupid thing off for you." She said, looking at the straps around his mask.
"No.. you can't! It's my mask of..."
The girl unhooked it and removed Herbidie's mask, with her headpiece still attached to it. "Oh, you're cute... hi."
Herbidie blinked, wondering what in blazing hell was going on. The horse, naturally, had seen the whole affair and could easily explain, but couldn't be bothered.
"This mask..." The Prince said. "I have to wear it, or I will never find True Love."
"Yeah." The girl said. "And I have to wear my Love Magnet or I'll never find it either."
"Love.. Magnet..?" The Prince asked, before finally catching on. "...Ah."
"You visit Markopan too?" The girl asked, smiling cutely.
"Yeah." Herbidie replied, and smiled.
Now I could go on, and say how they talked for hours, and they smiled and laughed, kissed, made love and rode horses and the like. But I shan't.
How perhaps they revisited Markopan one day to thank him, perhaps they were to marry or perhaps not, or become parents to children. Or again, perhaps not.
All I'll say is, they lived happily ever after, and you can make up the rest yourselves.
I particularly enjoyed the method of rending a person unconcious. Everything else has already been said.
Thanks everyone, and a raaather blatent:
> He'd probably enjoy playing Tetris and would in fact, be better than me > at it.
:O *shocked* Never, better than you . . . No can't be . . . Really?!
Any way that was a really great read and good for a bed time story, and every thing else has been said me thinks.